Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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The Nineteenth Amendment

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  • Virginia (Colony), Colonial Papers, Petition, 6 April 1691, Folder 8, No. 17, Record Group 1, Accession 36138, State Government Records Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Ruth Fulcher Petition, 1691
  • Petition from “females of the County of Augusta” to the General Assembly. N.d., presented 19 January 1832. Manuscript. RG 78, Virginia General Assembly, Legislative Petitions, Augusta County, State Government Records Collection. Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Petition from the women of Augusta
  • A Group of Philadelphia Abolitionists with Lucretia Mott. Philadelphia: F. Gutekunst. Offset lithograph. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., LOC
    Philadelphia Abolitionists with Lucretia Mott
  • The Negro Woman's Appeal
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin. Half-title page. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Boston: John P. Jewett & Company, 1853. Susan B. Anthony Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Washington D.C., LOC
    Susan B. Anthony's Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • “Make the slave's case our own.” [ca. 1859]. Susan B. Anthony Papers. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., LVA
    Make the Slave's Case Our Own
  • “Woman's holy war. Grand charge on the enemy's works.” Lithograph. New York: Currier and Ives, ca. 1874. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., LOC
    Woman's Holy War
  • Broadside 1900 .A7 BOX. Special Collections. Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Appeal of the Women of Staunton
  • Map of Virginia—
    Virginia—“Wet” and “Dry
  • Report of the Woman's Rights Convention, held at Seneca Falls, New York, July 19th and 20th, 1848. Proceedings and Declaration of Sentiments. Rochester, New York: John Dick at the North Star Office. Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897–1911; Scrapbook 6; page 68. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., LOC
    Seneca Falls Convention
  • “The Age of Iron: Man as He Expects to Be.” lithograph. [New York]: Currier & Ives, 1869. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., LOC
    The Age of Iron
  • “The Age of Brass: Or the Triumphs of Woman's Rights.” lithograph. [New York]: Currier & Ives, 1869. Library of Virginia. Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    The Age of Brass
  • The progress of colored women / by Mary Church Terrell, Washington, D.C.: Smith Brothers, Printers . . ., [1898], Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Daniel A. P. Murray Pamphlets Collection, Library of Congress, Washington D.C., LOC
    Mary Church Terrell Speech
  • February 20, 1915, <em>Puck</em> [New York, Keppler & Schwarzmann, etc.], Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Broadside Satirizing Anti-Suffragists
  • “The Rights of the People—Women are People. Suffrage Victory Map.” 1920. Broadside. Equal Suffrage League of Virginia Papers, Acc. 22002. Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Suffrage Victory Map
  • <em>Journal of the Senate (Extra Session) of the Commonwealth of Virginia Begun and Held at the Capitol in the City of Richmond on Wednesday, August 13, 1919</em>. Richmond: Davis Bottom, Superintendent of Public Printing, 1919. Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Nineteenth Amendment
  • Put Women in the Constitution poster, Virginia Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Council. Records, 1970–1982. Accession 31486. Organization  Records  C ollection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Equal Rights Amendment
  • Equal Suffrage League of Virginia. Records, 1909–1935. Accession 22002, Organization Records, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Lila Meade Valentine Suffrage Lecture in Norfolk
  • Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, Lila Meade Valentine Memorial Plaque, State Artwork Collection. Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Lila Meade Valentine Memorial Plaque
  • “Mrs. John H. Lewis of Lynchburg, Va. 1st Vice-President of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia Will Make An Address on Woman Suffrage.” Richmond: Pizzini Show Print, ca. 1915. Broadside.

“Open-Air Speaking at Deep Creek. Monday, April 10th, 1916.” 1916. Broadside. Equal Suffrage League of Virginia Papers, Acc. 22002. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Public Speeches on Woman Suffrage
  • Cell at Occoquan [Workhouse] and Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence. Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., LOC
    Cell at Occoquan Workhouse and Pauline Adams
  • Pauline Forstall Colclough Adams, Papers, 1917–1990, Accession 37402, Personal Papers Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Letter From Occoquan Workhouse
  • Broadside 1920 .S73 BOX, Special Collections, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Virginia League of Women Voters
  • Carroll Kem Shackelford Papers, 1954–1985, Accession 32577, Personal Papers Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Republican Woman's Club Workshop
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The Nineteenth Amendment

Women in the United States began agitating in the 1840s for the right to vote, long before all men in Virginia had gained the right to vote. The woman suffrage movement, which succeeded in 1920 with the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, coincided with major national reform movements seeking to improve public education, create public health programs, regulate business and industrial practices, and establish standards and create agencies to ensure pure food and public water supplies. Public debate on these issues and simultaneous demands for better roads and public services transformed politics in Virginia yet again and brought into the political process people who had not been active participants earlier.

In Most Humble Manner: Women and Politics before 1920

Virginia women were involved in many aspects of public life long before gaining the right to vote in 1920. Women were energetic volunteers and able fund-raisers. They petitioned the General Assembly seeking legislative action, financial aid, and divorce. As early as the 1840 presidential election, they were active in political campaigns and participated in debates on the most important issues of the day—among them slavery and temperance.

All Men and Women Are Created Equal: The National Woman Suffrage Movement

The woman suffrage movement began in 1848 at the first woman's rights convention, which was held in Seneca Falls, New York, with the participants calling for political equality and the right to vote. As the movement gained more support throughout the country, it also brought about a great deal of public scrutiny. Many questioned how women would be able to continue completing their domestic duties in the private sphere while participating in the public sphere.

Far-reaching Changes: Virginia’s Woman Suffrage Movement

In 1909 a group of Richmond women formed the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia. The League argued that Virginia women were citizens and taxpayers, that they had special interests that were being poorly addressed by male legislators, and that the spheres of home and world overlapped. Although Virginia women gained the right to vote in 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Virginia General Assembly did not ratify the amendment until 1952.

For Educators

"In Most Humble Manner: Women and Politics Before 1920"

Virginia Standards of Learning: USI.8(d) USII.4(e) CE.1(d-f, h), VUS.1 (h), VUS.6 (e), VUS.8 (d), GOVT.6 (f)
National History Standards: Era 4-4C (Grades 5-12) and Era 7-1B (Grades 5-12)

Download the lesson plan: Pdf (124 KB) Word (150 KB) Power Point (42 MB)

"All Men and Women Are Created Equal: The National Woman Suffrage Movement"

Virginia Standards of Learning: USI.8(d) USII.4(e) CE.1(d-f, h), VUS.1 (h), VUS.6 (e), VUS.8 (d), GOVT.6 (f)
National History Standards: Era 4-4C (Grades 5-12) and Era 7-1B (Grades 5-12)

Download the lesson plan: Pdf (420 KB) Word (146 KB) Power Point (501 KB)

"Socratic Circle: Virginia's Woman Suffrage Movement"

Virginia Standards of Learning: USI.8(d) USII.4(e) CE.1(d-f, h), VUS.1 (h), VUS.6 (e), VUS.8 (d), GOVT.6 (f)
National History Standards: Era 4-4C (Grades 5-12) and Era 7-1B (Grades 5-12)

Download the lesson plan: Pdf (169 KB) Word (146 KB) Power Point (15 MB)

People Featured in This Unit:

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  • Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906)
  • Sojourner Truth (1797–1883)
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902)
  • Lucretia Mott (1793–1880)
  • Anna Whitehead Bodeker (1827–1904)
  • Lila Meade Valentine (1865–1921)
  • Pauline Adams (1874–1957)
  • Elizabeth Bermingham Lacy (1945–)
  • Mary Sue Terry (1947–  )
  • Mary Church Terrell (1863–1954)
  • Maggie Lena Walker (1864–1934)
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